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Sotheby’s Spring Watch Auction Kicks off With Andy Warhol’s Patek Philippe March 15, 2023 (0 comments)


New York, NY--Sotheby's recently kicked off the spring watch auction season in New York with a $4 million sale featuring high-end timepieces. According to a report, the five leading auction houses sold a record CHF 702 million (about $749 million) in 2022, marking an 11% increase over the previous year's sales and an impressive 80% increase over 2019 figures.

[Image via Sotheby's]

While the global economy has taken a hit due to the ongoing pandemic, the Sotheby's New York sale still offered some notable pieces collectors covet as solid investments. One such timepiece was a Patek Philippe Ref. 2526 owned by Andy Warhol, which sold for $101,600. Made around 1955, the watch is a classic time-only Calatrava in pink gold with an eggshell enamel dial, double-signed Serpico Y Laino, Patek Philippe’s exclusive retailer in Caracas, Venezuela. The watch was first sold by Sotheby's as part of The Andy Warhol Collection estate sale in 1988 for $5,500.

[Image of Andy Warhol’s Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 2526 via Sotheby's]

The report said the sale's top lot was a platinum and diamond-set Patek Philippe Ref. 5271P, the latest model of Patek’s signature perpetual calendar chronograph, started in the 1940s with Ref. 1518. This watch is extra special because of its 4.84 carats of diamonds on the bezel, and it sold for $279,400. Sotheby’s notes that only six 5271Ps in any gem-set variation have returned to the market since being made circa 2021.

The sale also included three Rolex Paul Newman Daytonas, all selling above their pre-sale high estimates for a combined total of $656,350. A Ref. 6240 made circa 1967 led the group, selling for $254,000, while the other two Ref. 6239s sold for $120,650 and $190,500. A more modern platinum Rolex Daytona with an ice-blue dial sold for $114,300.

The report noted several other complicated modern Patek Philippes were also up for auction, including a Ref. 5270R-001 perpetual calendar chronograph produced in 2018 fetched $139,700, and a Ref. 3970 platinum perpetual calendar chronograph made around 2004 also sold for $139,700.

The sale also featured two Richard Mille models, a brand recently outperforming many independents at auction. A RM 005 AGTi Felipe Massa sold for $101,600, and an RM 055 AN Ti Bubba Watson sold for $254,000. Richard Mille watches were prominent at auctions in 2022, with two references among the top five sellers at all auctions last year.

Sotheby's January sale of Fine Watches in Hong Kong totaled 24,269,065 HKD ($3,092,000), with the top lot being a Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Decimal Strike Honeygold that sold for 1,143,000 HKD ($145,600). The house's January sale in London totaled 3,524,504 GBP ($4,188,838), with highlights including a Richard Mille RM 012 AG Proto1 Tourbillon, selling for 609,600 GBP ($724,504).

Link to the news report.

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